Turkish etymology of a toponym in Northern Greece

DrKameleon

New Member
Hi guys!

So, here I am and with a very interesting challenge for all of you...

There is a village in Drama (Eastern Macedonia) called "Mikrokampos" (Μικρόκαμπος), in Greek. Ιn English, this cοuld be roughly translated and... dissected as: "small" (μικρός - mikros) + "plain/flat" (κάμπος - kampos).

Now, here's the interesting twist: This village has been inhabited, since early 20th century, by Pontic Greek/Turkish-speaking immigrants coming from Northern Turkey and the shores of the Black Sea. The village's initial name - at least in its Greek transliteration - was: mikro Sivindrik(i) ("mikro" meaning - same as above - "small"). It is also possible that the "v" sound is an "l" sound, although this has not been verified.

Now, it's interesting to note here that there is also an exact counterpart, namely "Megalo Sivindrik" (nowadays called "Megalokampos" - or "big plain"), leading me to believe that "sivindrik", or whatever it is that it comes from, actually represents something meaningful - most likely a noun, or a compound noun.

So... my question is, this last word being most definitely of Turkish origin: What can it possibly mean? Does it remind you of something?

Locals say it may have something to do with: "flood", "water", "swamp" or even an "earthquake" - though I can honestly find no direct connection whatsoever with any of these.

I've also spotted a Bulgarian linguist - my only semi-official source so far - tracing the root back to the greek island of Samothrace (Semadirek) - which after being adopted by the Bulgarians, later found its way into the Greek language and used by the local population. (Well, if you ask me, this explanation sounds a bit far-fetched to me, since I can find no relation between any of the parts in question - historically or geographically speaking)

[...] Според Йордан Н. Иванов името Семендрик е турски изговор на името Самотраки [...]

However, manually going through a rather long and comprehensive list of roots (and, unfortunately, without speaking Turkish myself - other than having a general feel for it and some grasp of the grammar), I must admit I haven't come up with any... significant results.

Basically, all I've discovered can be summed up to this rather brief list of (possible) stems:
  • sıvı = liquid, fluid, watery
  • seviye/seviyeli = flat, plain
  • şev = slope
  • diri = alive
  • direk = pole, mast
Am I any close? Or is any of those even correct?

What would you suggest? I'm literally all ears! ;-)
 
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  • sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    A Facebook page that I found lists current and former toponyms in the 'province' (my word; possibly not the correct term) of Thessaloniki. It says that Megalokampos was formerly called Golemo Sivindrik. This Wikipedia page says the same thing, but also says that Golemo Sivindrik is a Slavic name.
     
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    DrKameleon

    New Member
    A Facebook page that I found lists current and former toponyms in the 'province' (my word; possibly not the correct term) of Thessaloniki. It says that Megalokampos was formerly called Golemo Sivindrik. I don't know if that helps.
    Well, thanks! I've noticed that too, but I don't think it helps a lot, since it's basically the slavic equivalent of the exact same word I'm trying to figure out...
     

    vynym

    New Member
    Turkish - Istanbul
    Xaxa, ola autia file?
    Loipon.. the words are correct. Something comes to my mind, which seems like Silindirik (if you change v to l) (cylinder shaped) but still doesn't sound a proper name for a village.
     

    DrKameleon

    New Member
    Xaxa, ola autia file?
    Loipon.. the words are correct. Something comes to my mind, which seems like Silindirik (if you change v to l) (cylinder shaped) but still doesn't sound a proper name for a village.

    Haha... İyi akşamlar! And thanks for the input! ;-)

    Now, the truth is I've come to that root too (silindrik = cylindrical) and weirdly so there are some locals who insist the actual name was just like that (meaning: with an "L" instead of a "V").

    However, what can I say... it most definitely doesn't hit me as a proper name for a village either. Not to mention that there is nothing cylindrical, circular or whatever about it... haha

    P.S. Something meaning perhaps... a "perfect square" would fit better for sure, unless the first settlers did it on purpose and with some sense of humour! lol -- See attached screenshot of what it looks like in Google Maps.
     

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    vynym

    New Member
    Turkish - Istanbul
    Έλα ρε με μπέρδεψες τώρα! I thought that the name of the village has been changed by Pontic immigrants when they migrated there after the population exchange.
     

    DrKameleon

    New Member
    Έλα ρε με μπέρδεψες τώρα! I thought that the name of the village has been changed by Pontic immigrants when they migrated there after the population exchange.
    (Haha - that sounded very "natural". Do you speak greek?)

    Now, look: as I said, I'm not from there. My gf is. (My "village" is Piraeus @ Athens - so, no big story to uncover there lol).

    All I know is based on things the locals know (and she has heard) and on linguistics, that's all. As for the historical part, those areas before the Balkan Wars were - obviously - Turkish. Then, they suddenly became part of the Greek Kingdom. However, the inhabitants there - if any (estimates say there might have been like 10 people there. I don't know whether that qualifies as a "village") - were mostly Bulgarian-speaking or Roma. So, yes, you're correct: it's the Greek pontic settlers (actually populations that came from Turkey and that the greek state wouldn't mind at all if they relocated to the newly-claimed land - you know what I mean) that named the village with whatever name it had.

    Now, the tricky point here is: although most "Pontic greek" people did speak Pontic greek - and were thus greek-speaking at some extent (I assure you, to me, modern Pontic greek sounds almost incomprehensible at times lol) - the settlers of that specific village were considered "Greeks" (probably just the religion? - a very common "indicator" throughout history I guess...), but they were from Sinop. And, according to my research, it's not 100% sure whether they even spoke greek. I believe all they knew was turkish (with a mix of pontic elements? but still Turkish).
     

    vynym

    New Member
    Turkish - Istanbul
    ναι βρε μιλάω ελληνικά :) μένεις Granada? qué bueno!

    so, I don't know how you can figure it out but if we can find a list of villages in 1922, it may happen.
    another name came to my mind "Sevindik", also it is a surname, means "we became happy."
     
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